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  WJLA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    October 21, 2012
    9:00 - 9:29am EDT  

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brought you in part by thehe american federation of vernment employees, proud to make america work. for more information aboutfge and membership, visit afge.org. >> i can tell you that if you elect president obama, yoknow what you're going to get. a repeat of the last fr years. >> this weweek on "inside washinon," the second presidential debate. >> governor romney does not have a five. plan bso one point plan. >> the fight for the women's vote. >> governor romney feels comfortable having pololiticians in washingtoton deciding health- re choices for women. >> every woman should have access to contraceptives, and the president's s statement of my policy is completely wrong. it took the president 14 days
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before he called the attack in nghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did, in fact -- >> a few laughs at the al smith in are in new york. >> i fee really arrested after the night-long nap in the first debate. >> so lilittleime, so much to redistribute. captioned by the national captioning instite --www.ncicap.org-- >> this is a close race. at weeeek's end, a national gallup poll gave mitt romney s largest lead so far, and the president was looking good in the battttleground states of iowa and wconsin. this on the heels of the second presidential debate. the president showed up for this on and the result was a lively exchange. >> have electeted your pension? have you looked atat your pension?
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>> i don't look at my attention. it was not as big ou yours. they almost look like they were going to duke it out. >> how much did you cut the buet? >> the macho stuff may to some of viewers uncomfortable. romney won the first debate hands down. whwho wanted this one, evan? >> oma up one it slightly, but not by so much that it puts romney away. >> mark? >> i agree, but t the interesting thing is that fox news ewers bought by three out of for that romney won it anviewers of msnbc thought by three out of r that obama won. >> nina? >> it took me overnight to sort of tnk about it, and decided th obama won principally because romney it became increasingly agitated by the end
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of the debate. there wasn't a clear punch knocked down. >> charles? >> i am with the woman spector who said she liked it because it was getting near to fisticuffs. frazieali, in a ring, literally, surrounded by spectators, glowering stare dow st.n. what i wanted to seeas the secret service burst in and ck romney and have candy crowley and minister the01010- count. that would have been the best debate ever. unfounately, it ended with a whimper rather than a bang. >> did we learn anything about these candidates and their positions and policies we did not know beforore? evan? >> i think that voters a sense they are not hearing the truruth
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becacause they a not. ither candidate tells the truth in these debates. when romney comes out and says "i am going to make sure you get a job," he cannot guarantee jobs. his plan is a phony plan to guarantee jobs. this idea that they are suddenly going to create jobs is not true and people know it. >> he says he will create $12 someone moody's, said that whoever is presidt there will be 12 million jobs because of f how the economy's s going. >> the biggest problem the president has is that he has been two different people in these debates. to some degree, so did romney, bunot to the degegree that t the president was. he was passive and listless in the first debate this time he came o on and mention all the things he failed to mention in the first debate, whether it
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was romney's tax rate being lower than t of a ecial education teacher with a 4 romney essenally groping troops in afghanistan tonight as -- grouping of in afghanistan tonight as moochers and freeloaders. i do thihink that nina i is right that as it went on, romney did get peeved. he was upset. the equanimity and consistey of his first debate was not present. i was s reminded of mike huckabee's line in 2008- i i want to be a presidentho reminds people of the person who hired them not the person whwho fired them. >> speing of the economy, who won on that isissue? >> if yoyou look at the last polls, romomney was up by 18% on that issue after this debate by those who watched the debate, and in another poll, cbs poll, up by 31%.
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i agree with my colleagues to some extent. romney won on points with a lot jabs, a minor, narrow victory. that overcame the one haymaker that romney landed, or he gave a great answer to the quesestion -- >> you said obama. >> i'm sorryry, obama ce out on points with a lot of jabsbs. romney had one good answer at the 1-hour mark where the guy said "i voted for obama, i am disappointed," and even devastating takewn of obama's record. that haymaker was extremely powerful. i think that overall obama won on jabs. that is why you get this reaction. however, romney won on the economic issue to it since the onomic issue is the most portant, it will be a wash in terms of its effect on the dynamic of the elections. >> in n a way, romney could not
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and can't overcome the damage he did in the first debate, because what happened in the first debate is that romney became acceptable. he did not look like the mean that rich guy who was thoughtless and totally unconnected from the real world. oncece you make a somewhat acceptablele, it is very hard to make himim unacceptable. they had made him unacceptable. when obama did not put the heat on him in that first debate, it was -- i don't know if it will be a decisive mistake, but it ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ ♪
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[ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation every solution comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safea place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. o0 c1 [ minto ] you know, those
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ads saying mitt romney would ban all abortions and contraception seemed a bit extreme. so i looked into it. turns out, romney doesn't oppose contraception at all. in fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother's life. this issue's important to me but i'm more concerned about ththe debt our children will be left with. i voted for president obama last time but we just can't afford four more years. [ romney ] i'm mitt romney and i approve this message.
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>> we took a concerted effort to go out and f find women who had ome qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to women's g gros and id, can you helps find folks, and thehey brought us all binders full of women. >> that one wentt viral almost immediately. what was it about that at sat women off? >> the bders full of women. personally that t did not botother me. what bothered me was finding out the next day that the romney people did not approach the women's groups andnd ask for suggestions. rather, the women's gups apprproach romney and sa, you don't have women, you don't have
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women at bain, need to get women. >> a number of polls iicate that president obam's lead with white women was shrinking. i am not talking about men who only ve republican, but college-educated women who are generally liberal on social issueses are moving towards romney. >> i talked to a smart republican over ththe weekend to said that all of this is about who you want to be marrrried to and in the very first debate obama was so peevish about -- you would not want to be married to that guy. romney was kind of moderate and reasonable and migh actually listen to you. that is what turned it around the polls. but in the second debate, i thought that romney, by sword of treating women like commodities -- briefing books full of women -- lost a little ground. > direct your e-mail to evan thomas, not to any of us. [laughter] i think it is simple.
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romney had the same effect on women in the first debate as he did on men. obama hadd spent $150 million n on negative ads as the guy who wants to -- a guy who was completely indifferent when the wife of a steelworker he laid f dies of canr and it would work looks in the camera and says, "mitt romney does not care about my wife or anyone at." to hearhis, and then you have romney stand up and, ass nina indicated, showed he is a reasonable guy not a guy who is completely harmless, and all that advertising, which affecteded men and women together -- that is why you got this change. i don' think i.t. has a great mystery -- >> i tnk the case could be made that romney essentially cameut r affirmativive action when he said t's go looking for women. that, as i u understand it, is the bane of conservatives.
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this is what mitt romneyaid, let's go find some women. >> you need to servrve in his cabinet. >> exactly y. sendly romney is i am mad dash to the middle with contraceptio unirsally available. immigration, no ground up. you have a guy who is essentially taking positions now that t if he had tataken them in the primaries, he would hahave lost, he would been rejected by republican primary voters. what obama does to respond is five timeses mentionedlanned parenthood. that becomes his mantra. ion't think that abortion is the overriding issue to o every woman in america. it is an important issue to a loof women -- >> he did not mention abortion. >> he just keeps talking about planned parenthood he'd never
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once mentioned of the labor union member, he never once mentioned it i is traditional democratic cstituencies.think thator the swing voters issssues really matter -- to dig myself into a deeper hole here. i think it is the comfofort level. metaphorically, your husbaband -- are you comfortable with this somebody in your life or not? >> obamaentioned planned parenthood b but not abortion -- let me just finish. at 10% ofhat lanned parenthood is done is abortion, i i think consideray less. what h he di mention is conntraception. romney interestingly, did make a mad dash tthe middle and say "i am for access to contraception." he did not sayay it should be included in insurance policies -- >> thais exactly thehe point. it is not a mad dash to the
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nter on contraception. it is a way to correct this caluy by liberals that republicans want to close pharmacies and prevent women from getting access toto contraception. all he is saying ithat sandra fluke, who makakes $165,000 a year if she goes out in the private sector as a graduate of an elite law school, does not need to be subsidized by the avage american, who makes $50,000 a household to get contraceptives now she can shell out the $9 a month. there is no issue of access. is whether you want to compel catholic institutions to included in the plan against all their doctrinal belief spread above the saying that it is not a question of access to it that was certainly a tking point that democrats have accepted romney was correcting. >> let me correct the point that has been made here. the reblican platform, for the firs time, calls for the elimination of all abortion -- not in the case of rape, incest,
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or l life of the mother, but all abortion. this was mt romney's conventionon these were his delegates to he cannot diststance himself from that platform
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>> the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, ou u.n. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we lo four of our own governor, is offensive. >> evan, how did the president hdle that one? >> he won that round. he stood up to romney and seemed strong. the facts remain murky here, but there is no question that that waa good moment for obama. >> charles? >> it was, because romney did not answer it,ut unfortunately
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for obama, roromneyets another chance because there is another debate on monday. that was the biggest gaffe of the year that the president said. he is on the record in front of 70 million people saying that he is offended by the implication that anye on his team misled the nation about what happened. this is after his u.n. ambaador goeses on five shows -- not one, five shows -- and spins a tale of a demonsttion that a spontaneous, a video that it becomes viable. there was no right this was a deliberate terror attack -- there was no riot, this was a deliberate terror attack. it is not only members of th team who misled the nation. it was obama hielf. he took credit for calling an act of terror on day one, and here he is a week later on letterman's s saying we don't know if it is an act of terror, we are investigating.
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everybody knew it at the time that the video had nothing to do with the benghazi attack, zero. he misled and that is hangiging out there and romney has a chance to hit it out of t the park on monday. i think it could be a really pyrrc victory. >> charles, sadly, is wrong, f for the following reason. fifirst of all you have to subscribe to a great master conspiracy theory from administration that hahas not demonstred a capacity of running a two car funeral that this has to be so well organized and orchestrated and so stupid as to put the u.n. ambassador out on five shows where she could be corrected. this was wrorong, no question about it but let's be very blunt about the politics of it as we go into monday. who came up and took one for the te? the most popular woman in america hillary clinton. now for mitt romney to go after
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barack obama, he has got to go through hillary clinton, at a time whe women are the hy graiail of this election. that is not difficult, iis an impossible task for him. >> nina? >> it seems obvious to me that there was a screw up relatively low levels. i am not clear about what intelligence said right away to the president. certainly, the vice president suggested in this debate that they hadad been told initially something different. there would be no reason to send susan rice out to lie. she was going to get exposed immediately. >> here is richard clarke who work for president george w. bush and president clinton anand was in president r reagan's administration. "mitt romney seems fixateted on why washington did not know it better clarity csider what happened it during a terror atta. it is the kind of question from
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somebody with h no experience in terrorism or combat." >> i don't think americans will cast their vote based on this. is the classic kind of washington talk show, who knew what and when. in any case, no matter what the facts are, it does not seem to be a voting issue. >> it is in issue because of honenesty, transparency, and leadership. if you want to go through the list of ways and which it hurts obama, the idea he would have the secretary of state go out ththere and take the blame instead of taking it himself -- he nominally said -- >> he did say -- >> he nominally did. >> nominally? >> we just heard mark say that she step up and said "i am the one who is r responsible." yesterday they foundd a new scapegoat. anne feinstein said that the director of dni is the wine.
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this i is not a trivial issue. this the first assassination of u.s. ambassador in 30 years, and sacking of our embassy, a huge humiliating defeat, andnd tragedy all wrapped into one, and thi president repeatedly misled the nation about its nature and origin as a [ minto ] you know, those ads saying mitt romney would ban all abortions and contraception seemed a bit extreme. so o i looked into it. turns out, romney doesn't oppose contraception at all. in fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother's life. this issue's important to me but i'm more concerned about the debt our children will be left with. i voted for president obama last time but we just can't afford four more years. [ romney ] i'm
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mitt romney aand i approve this message. [ male announcer ] this commercial is not about getting fios. it's about getting fios. that moment after you finally got it that you actually get it. when you see up close the difference 100% fiber optics really makes and you say
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to yourself "whoa...we are not on cable anymore." when you can see blades of artificial grass in their full glory you get it. or the first time you download a 2-hour movie in 2 minutes, you get it. when you say i want it installed saturd at 9:30... ...a they showed up at 9:30. [ male announcer ] bingo! you get it. this family gets it. this building gets it. this stadium gets it. this guy does not get it. and he is so bummed... but don't take our oord for it... ask a friend, ask a neighbor, or anyone else who's got it. i got it when you could dvr a television show from a cab which i think is nuts! [ male announcer ] and see why millions have already switched to fios. there's never been a better time to get it. get our best price online guaranteed for a year, call the verizon center with no annual contract. for customers with disabilities at 800-974-6006 tty/v. once you've got it, you get it. >> i have seen the early reports frfrom tonight's dinner.
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"obamambraced by catholics romney dines with rich people." [laughter] >> the unemployment rate is the lowest since it took office. i don't have a joke here. i thought i would remind everybody. [laughter] >> he has a compelling new slogan, "you are better off now than you were four weeks ago." [laughter] >> we needed some laughs, mark. >> we needed some laughs, d stephen colbert is not in trouble. [laughter] what is missing from the debates is heeven a scintilla of humor. it the one of them a as h -- as said d it "i screwed up." neither one of them wants to say a single self-deprecating the line. these are self-serious meant for whom a self doubt is a total stranger. it was nice to see them smile at
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the dinner, and thank goodness for the cardinal for bringing them together. >> i did notothink the jokes were terribly funny. prpresident ofof united states, republican standard bearer, and you cant get betr jokes than this? >> it reminds you of the days of tip o o'neills and ronald reagans where politicians could get together and be friendly and warm for a moment, and we have got to get that back. >> the jokes were fabulous. that was hilarious that was great. obama u nu was good jok. i did not know romney was. i think he will make a great comedianan-in-chief, which is one of the things we require in our presidentt obama has been extremely entertaining and al the dinners he has done, the white house correspondents ent, the way he to donald trump apart. it should have been illegal, it was so hilarious. >> see you next week.
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>> "inside washington" is brought you inin part by the american federation of government employees, prououd to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org.
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